With Omicron It May Be Harder To Tell If You Have Covid The Common Cold Or Flu
Follow this story and more bysigning up for national breaking news email alerts.
It starts with a sneeze, maybe a sniffle.
You think to yourself, its just mild allergies or a minor cold. Youre not worried about covid-19, because the symptoms dont match up with the distinct, often severe indicators of covid-19: joint aches, violent coughing, a fever or chill, and the dreaded loss of ability to taste or smell.
But with the omicron variant now the dominant strain in the United States infecting the unvaccinated and fully inoculated alike, health experts warn the symptoms that previously helped people to gauge whether they had a cold, flu or covid-19 are no longer the useful marker they once were.
Making risks assessments on whether to travel, gather with others or get tested for the coronavirus based on symptoms is not going to work anymore, said Emily Landon, the chief infectious-disease epidemiologist at University of Chicago Medicine.
Complicating matters is that pandemic-fatigued populations must once again revise what they thought they knew about the coronavirus. Health experts said grids and infographics that suggest certain symptoms are particular to one virus or another, which are popular on social media, may have at one point been helpful but are now outdated with the rise of omicron.
Its confirmation bias, Landon said.
In this omicron-dominant season, symptoms of cold, flu or covid-19 are overlapping to a large degree .
When in doubt, test it out.
Physical Symptoms Associated With Stress And Emotions
There can be short-term and moderate pain, but in some situations, there can even be severe and chronic pain.
Some specific events or stressors can make any person upset or anxious. The example in this regard is of the death in the family or because of job loss.
Such situations can release cortisolin your body, causing significant inflammation, increasing heart rate, and constrict blood vessels. Thus, these changes in your body can cause an extreme level of pain.
Furthermore, when any person experiences difficult emotional times, stress can indeed make the immune system weak. As a result, you can become more susceptible to colds, flu, and other kinds of infections.
Tip: Did you know that you shouldnt use Hydrogen Peroxide on infected wounds?
Stress can even make you eat a lot or drink too much and skip on your regular exercises.
Below is the list of some common physical symptoms related to stress:
- Stomach pain
- Rapid level of breathing
See A Doctor Never Assume Anxiety
If you’ve checked your temperature and you see that you have a fever, or you simply feel ill, see your doctor. Only a doctor can diagnose the cause of a fever and ensure that you’re in good health. Even though anxiety causes a lot of different physical problems, anxiety is also generally harmless and a health issue is not. Never be afraid to visit a doctor if you’re concerned.
Don’t Miss: Arm Hurts After Flu Vaccine
What Should You Do If You Feel You Have A Fever
If you notice that you have a mild fever, you have two options. The best choice is always to contact your doctor. You may also wish to wait for your anxiety to calm down and check your temperature again. If it’s really related to an anxiety attack, then it should be gone by the time your anxiety has decreased. If not, it is likely you are fighting off a different infection and may benefit from antibiotics or other medicinal treatments.
If you are someone that is simply experiencing the symptoms of a fever without the fever itself then rest assured you are not alone. Many people that suffer from anxiety attacks have bouts of physical symptoms that feel exactly like fighting a fever. Your best bet is to respond to your anxiety attacks directly.
First, take hold of your breathing to make sure that you’re not hyperventilating. Hyperventilation drastically increases some of the symptoms that mimic a fever, and can increase your anxiety as well. If you’re feeling ill, get up and walk around a bit too. Sometimes taking yourself out of your situation is valuable for controlling the anxiety.
Was this article helpful?
Can Anxiety Cause Flu
I’ve had a lot of anxiety symptoms, but not something like this. I’ve been feelings like I have the flu, yet I don’t. My question is, can anxiety make you feel like you have the flu with flu-like symptoms even though you don’t have the flu?
Yes! Overly apprehensive behavior and the chronic stress it causes can make it seem like you have the flu and flu-like symptoms.
This occurs because of how chronic stress affects the body, and how the body can become symptomatic when under sustained stress.
Recovery Support members can read more about why anxiety can make it seem like you have the flu and having flu-like symptoms under the “flu-like symptoms” symptom in the Symptoms section .
Also Check: Can I Get Flu Shot If I Am Sick
People At Higher Risk From Flu
Anyone can get sick with flu, even healthy people, and serious problems related to flu can happen to anyone at any age, but some people are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions , pregnant people and children younger than 5 years, but especially those younger than 2 years old.
How Can You Treat Your Cold Symptoms
There is no cure for the common cold. However, the common cold is usually self-limiting and typically resolves relatively quickly without the use of medications. Some home remedies and medical treatments can help to alleviate the symptoms associated with the common cold.
Home treatment for upper respiratory infections includes getting plenty of rest and keeping hydrated .
There are many common over-the-counter medications such as throat lozenges, throat sprays and cough syrups which can help relieve symptoms although, these remedies cannot help you get better faster or shorten the duration of the cold. Gargling with warm saltwater may help relieve a sore throat in some people.Decongestant medications, or nasal sprays, and antihistamines may be used for nasal symptoms. Over-the-counter medications must be taken with care and as directed, as they can have other effects than those desired. Pregnant women should discuss the safety of using over-the-counter medications with their pharmacist or healthcare provider before use.
Paracetamol-based and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, are common over-the-counter medicines that can help alleviate and manage fever, sore throat, headache and body pain. Consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist about using these medications.
You May Like: Advil Cold And Flu Liquid
Serious Symptoms To Look Out For
The flu spreads quickly through droplets made by people who cough, sneeze or talk while theyre infected. If you have the flu, you can be contagious as early as one day before you start feeling ill and up to five to seven days while you have symptoms.
Symptoms tend to set in suddenly. Some common symptoms of the illness include:
But Dr. Mossad warns that if youre experiencing shortness of breath, you should go to the hospital immediately.
If I have progressively worsening shortness of breath, then thats not right, says Dr. Mossad. I have to go to the hospital because if Im having respiratory failure or heart failure, these cant be managed at home, and may require oxygen, a breathing machine or heart medications.
When To Get Medical Help If You Have Chest Tightness Or Pain
Chest tightness or pain can be a sign of a serious health condition. Its a good idea to see a doctor whenever you experience chest pain with an unknown cause. Its especially important to seek medical help if your pain onsets suddenly or does not respond to anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen.
If you experience the following symptoms, or anything else concerning, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room:
- shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- pain that spreads to your left arm, back, shoulder, or jaw
- Monoclonal antibodies are proteins that are designed to target the virus that causes COVID-19 and prevent it from entering your cells. The combinations bamlanivimab/etesevimab or casirivimab/imdevimab may be used.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs. Drugs such as the corticosteroid dexamethasone may be given to reduce inflammation caused by COVID-19. Current research suggests dexamethasone has the greatest benefit for people requiring mechanical ventilation.
- Immunomodulators. Drugs such as baricitinib/remdeivir or tocilizumab may be added to your treatment plan. Immunomodulators are a class of drugs that modify the activity of your immune system.
Don’t Miss: Best Medicine To Relieve Flu Symptoms
How To Deal With Your Anxiety Symptoms
Right now, with stay-at-home orders and extreme economic uncertainty part of the new normal,anxiety levels are very high, even for those who havent experienced much anxiety in the past, Dr. Merrill says.
Just because a symptom is linked to anxiety doesnt mean it should be ignored.
Mindfulness-based practices can help, especially if they involve some type of physical movement that benefits both body and mind. He suggests yoga or tai chi, for example, because they incorporate breath-work in their practices.
In terms of treatment, Dr. Laino suggests talking with your healthcare provider about both your symptoms and anxiety as a possible cause to ensure youre getting an accurate diagnosis from a trained professional. Even if youre under a stay-at-home order, there are many telehealth options right now, he adds, which means you can have an appointment and even get a prescription without going into an office.
Most of all, take it seriously. Just because a symptom is linked to anxiety doesnt mean it should be ignored, he says There are various medications and talk therapies that can help people who suffer with acute, chronic, or post-traumatic anxieties.
Best of all, as your anxiety knots get loosened, its likely many of your physical issues will start to ease as well.
Managing Keto Flu Symptoms
Its always important to seek expert medical advice before starting any new diet, especially if you are experiencing other concerning symptoms outside of the common keto flu symptoms listed above. The important thing to remember is that the side effects of starting the keto diet arent long-term. Many people that push through this phase report feeling better than they ever have in ketosis. And in the meantime, there are a few keto flu remedies you can try to help manage your keto flu symptoms.
Heres your ultimate keto flu remedy guide to make this transition as smooth as possible and get your off on the right foot.
Read Also: Can You Give High Dose Flu To Under 65
About The Name Psychogenic Fever Why Not Functional Hyperthermia
I propose to call psychological stress-associated high Tc functional hyperthermia instead of psychogenic fever. This is in part because psychological stress-associated high Tc is induced by mechanisms distinct from infection/inflammation-associated fever, where proinflammatory mediators play a pivotal role. Furthermore, psychogenic sounds stigmatic for some patients and their families. I do not want to call their high Tc emotional hyperthermia, either, because it sounds like a physiological response, which does not require treatment. I prefer to call it functional because in the clinical setting the naming of diseases including the term functional, such as functional dyspepsia, functional gastrointestinal disorders, or functional somatic syndrome, connotes both stress-related pathology and impaired functioning of the autonomic nervous system.
What Are The Symptoms Of Stress
Stress can affect all aspects of your life, including your emotions, behaviors, thinking ability, and physical health. No part of the body is immune. But, because people handle stress differently, symptoms of stress can vary. Symptoms can be vague and may be the same as those caused by medical conditions. So it is important to discuss them with your doctor. You may experience any of the following symptoms of stress.
Emotional symptoms of stress include:
- Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
- Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
- Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
- Feeling bad about yourself , lonely, worthless, and depressed
- Avoiding others
Physical symptoms of stress include:
- Low energy
- Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side
Behavioral symptoms of stress include:
- Changes in appetite — either not eating or eating too much
- Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
- Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
- Exhibiting more nervous behaviors, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing
Also Check: Does Medicare Pay For Flu Shots At Walgreens
Can Stress And Anxiety Actually Make You Sick
You read that right! Stress and anxiety actually can make it easier for you and your little ones to fall ill.
Now, this doesnt mean that you are at risk of becoming sick every single time you experience stress or anxiety. Instead, your risk of illness increases largely if you or your children experience prolonged periods of stress, or if you experience stress very frequently.
Essentially, this happens because stress causes things like an increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, nausea, headaches, and dizziness, and prolonged exposure to stress can make these symptoms last longer which ultimately wears down your bodys defenses.
Chronic stress can even cause you to fall victim to the common cold because it prevents your body from regulating a healthy inflammatory response, and chronic inflammation has been linked to the development and progression of certain diseases.
So, yes, chronic or frequent stress makes it much more likely that you will catch a cold if you are exposed to cold-causing particles and yes, that means your kids are the perfect target.
As parents, the founders of Genexa understand what its like to have kids who are constantly sick because of classmates, and if your children experience chronic or frequent stress, this may mean they fall ill even more often. They also know the struggle of searching for the right medicine for your kids and being unable to find one that isnt full of other, yucky stuff, too.
What Is Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is defined as a physical pain that prolongs quite longer, usually over 3 months.
However, there is a considerable portion of the people who experience chronic pain just because of the feelings associated with stress, anxiety or depression.
Chronic pain is dangerous as it can hinder ones complete ability in moving with ease and also affecting their normal functioning.
Usually, the best remedy often perceived by people is having pain medications, but their side-effects further compound the overall problem.
Most people are aware of an essential fact that emotional stress can cause some severe problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, and stomachaches. However, they might not know very well that it can even cause some other kinds of complaints that are physical along with chronic pain.
One logical reason, as some of the studies have found, is that when people are more stressed and anxious, their muscles become tenser and also constricted. As a result, the muscles then not just become inefficient but even fatigued as well over some time.
Tip: Electrical muscle stimulation can help you in treating muscle pain.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Medication For Cold And Flu
Is Stress A Leading Cause Of Chronic Pain In The Body
Based on research studies, chronic pain does not just happen due to physical injury. It also happens because of stress.
Physical pain due to stress is most familiar with people who have experienced a severe level of trauma and even had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder . These people are at higher risk of experiencing chronic pain.
If You’re Sick Allow Time For Physical And Mental Rest
Prior to the pandemic, it wasn’t uncommon to go to work or school despite being sick. COVID-19 has changed that those who are sick need to stay home as much as possible, experts say.
Working from home has also caused some employees to feel they need to work through sickness. Smerling highlights the importance of allowing oneself to be sick, and to take better care to soothe and heal. Getting outside, watching a fun movie or TV show and reaching out to loved ones are important parts of slowing down and practicing self-care.
“I think that’s a profound lesson that we have learned from the pandemic: that it’s okay to take your foot off the ,” she says. “You’re still going to be driving the car, but you’re not going to be driving the car at 90 miles an hour. It’s OK to to go inside and in reflect and take some time away from the frantic everyday world.”
Recommended Reading: Valid Reasons To Decline Flu Vaccine
What Causes The Flu
According to a South African Department of Health report, influenza is responsible for between 6 000-11 000 deaths in the country every year, about half of which are reported in the elderly, and another 30 % of which are accounted for by HIV-positive people.
The flu is caused by highly contagious influenza viruses, of which there are three types, designated by the letters A, B and C.While influenza type C usually only causes a very mild illness, or no illness at all, types A and B are responsible for the large seasonal outbreaks seen yearly during colder, winter months. Influenza type B is usually slightly milder than the more common type A that can cause epidemics when protein receptors change/mutate on the viral surface.The last large influenza outbreak was in 2009, what became commonly known as the swine flu epidemic, or H1N1 2009 representing the type of receptors and year the strain was discovered. In fact, influenza viruses are often found in a host of animal species, including many mammals and birds, in which the viruses can mutate and become infectious to humans .
Typically, during seasonal influenza outbreaks, you become infected when an influenza virus enters your body by your mouth, nose or eyes through droplets in the air when another infected person coughs, sneezes or talks .
You are at greater risk of developing influenza and getting serious complications from infection because of the following risk factors: